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Latex Paint vs. Oil Paint...
The Controversy Rages On!!

Thanks to Van Sickle Paints for making this page available to us.

A preface from NH...

The chart below gives a great overview of the differences between latex and oil paints.  These differences can be used to your advantage!  And what differences there are!  Oil paints seal stains better but tend to crack under temperature changes.  Oils make the best stain killers for interior work, but outside latex stain killers shine!  Oils make the best primers for "rusty" metals, but latex primers are superior for galvanized metals.

Not surprisingly, painters have personal preferences based on a mix of experience and superstition.  Some swear by latex paint for trim and doors, while others would rather give up their firstborn than use anything but a quality alkyd paint on these wood surfaces!

Confused?  Don't be... the trick is to be open-minded.   Neither latex nor oil paint is ideal in all circumstances.  Since different paints have different strengths and weaknesses, I defer to your local professional paint store.  They know their paints and can help you decide the best combination of latex and oil paints to solve your own painting crisis!




Fast dry. Shrinks more when drying, creating more surface stress.
Better fade resistance. More temperature sensitive.
More chalk-resistant. Less adhesion to chalk and dirt.
Breathes; less blistering. Can stain with water-soluble contamination.
Retains flexibility longer. Softer, normally not used in high traffic areas.
Tolerant on alkaline surfaces like masonry.
Will not yellow.
Resists mildew better.
Clean-up with water.
Good on galvanized metal.




Less shrinkage. Turns brittle with age.
Low temperatures have less affect. Slower dry than latex.
More durable in high traffic areas. Colors fade faster.
Seals stains better. Chalks faster than latex.
Holds rust better on steel. Tight film blisters faster (won't breathe).
Better adhesion on dirty or chalky surfaces. Yellows with age.
Peels on galvanized metal.

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Thanks to Van Sickle Paints for making this page available to us.
You can visit their fine site by clicking HERE!

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